he/she? what subject pronoun for unknown gender?

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New Member
Hello all,
I submitted a paper to a scientific journal a now I need to write a letter to a journal editor where I have to mention the reviewer but I don't know if it's a "she" or a "he". Consequently I don't know which subject pronoun I should use. I now that "it" is neutral but it seems inappropriate to use to refer to a person.
Here is my sentence:
"We hope that our response will satisfy the reviewer and he/she will acknowledge the significance of our contribution"
Thank you for your help
  • Omelette

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm sure this has been discussed often, especially on the English Only forum, but 'they' is often used as an alternative to 'he/she'.
    If you wanted to avoid that, you could (as Micia indicates) try re-phrasing your sentence.
    Last edited:

    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    I like Micia's, except that "we" should replace "I" since the sentence starts with a "We".

    An aside: for me there is a "that" missing before the "he/she" or "they" in case you stay with that formulation.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    Or - which avoids using two 'hope's - perhaps: 'We hope the reviewer will be satisfied by our response and acknowledge...'
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